Local/State

Landmark Rossi's on the move in N.J.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Action News Online

A Trenton restaurant famous for its burgers is officially moving out. Rossi's Bar and Grill has been an institution in Chambersburg since the 1920s. But it's just the latest business to leave the city.

Sitting at the corner of Morris and Franklin in the city's Chambersburg section, Rossi's bar and Grill is an institution in Trenton. But after 80 years in business the owners have just announced they are closing this location down and moving to the suburbs in Hamilton.

"I think it's time to go," owner Mike Rossi says. "I think most of our customers are in the townships now and I think they really want us to be there."

Rossi's is the latest in a string of Trenton restaurants that have closed or moved out of town. Once a largely Italian neighborhood, the "Burg" as it's called, is now mostly Latino. Rossi's owners say they're going where their customers are.

"We are taking recipes, we're taking the people we're taking the pictures we're taking the signs," says Sharon Jemison. "We're taking everything!"

"It hurts me, you know?" says Lee Zimmerman of Hamilton, New Jersey. "This is my family this is where we eat lunch."

Kay Winder has been coming to Rossi's for 56 years and had her first drink here: "It's warm it's friendly what else can you ask for."

"It's (a) bittersweet pill," says Tracy Winder of Washington Crossing, New Jersey. "But if they do reopen, then for sure we'll be going to where ever they're at."

Rossi's is known for its steaks and its signature Rossiburgers--deemed the best in the state by one magazine and featured on national TV.

"They are big. They are juicy. They're excellent. Excellent!!" exclaimed Jimmy Velenger of Trenton for the Action News cameras.

"It's just good meat," says Chef Ted Coate. "You start out with good stuff and you wind up with good stuff."

Rossi's is a family business and has attracted some famous names over the years, including Princess Grace and Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio who was friendly with Mike and Sharon's father Al Rossi, who apparently loved Aunt Pearl's lentil soup.

"As soon as there was word that Joe DiMaggio was here people would line up outside."

Rossi's will stay open here until April then take a month off to move everything out and relocate to their new home in Trenton.

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